Evoland has a great concept, a perfect response for any nostalgic gamer, but the end result may not be worth your money.

User Rating: 5.5 | Evoland PC
When I sat down to tackle this game, I was already in love with it. The videos on steam, and the description alone was enough to reel me in. "A game that lets you play through all the best RPGs? These guys got their heads screwed on". Now I would love to say that I was right. Sadly, I find the game a wee bit lacking.

The game literally starts as every old school RPG should...with no explanation at all to who you are, why you're here are what you're supposed to be doing. You are literally given nothing but a character on the screen and two chests to the left and right of the character. I open my first chest and it gives me the ability to move left... gee, thanks. Upon opening the second chest the game opens up and I find myself looking at what looks like a game boy cartridge, the way the game unfolds is that you continually find and open chests that basically evolve the game to a present day standard. About 5 chests in and you manage to find yourself a weapon (enter old school combat).

Once you start really getting into the game you actually get a story, well some story. This game's biggest fault is it's story, to put it bluntly, it's weak. A classic RPG story of get the girl, kill the bad guy, save the world, suffer a little along the way. It's not great, by a long shot. I mean, it isn't laughable and it isn't 'bad', it's just very, very stereotypical and doesn't bring anything to the table, it just feels like the developers put a lot of effort to make the game work soundly, that they forgot to write a script. It really is a shame and hurts the end result quite horrendously. The game has what it needs, when it comes to puzzles, combat, and some character progression. I just feel that as the game, uses a lot of other inspiration and leans heavily on the fact that there are about a million RPGs to take inspiration from, the few puzzles that are found, are pretty much, dare I say it, "copied" puzzles, and so don't have as much weight as they could have.

By the way, this game steals- sorry, "borrows" ferociously from other games. A Frankenstein could possibly give you the wrong impression, but you know what I mean. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, all games borrow from one another most of the time, just some does it slightly more shamelessly and more blatantly, this is definitely one of them. From "Claud's Sword" to names like "Shadowmere" the game finds itself somewhere along the lines of 'Clever wordplay' to 'Just bad'. I would also like to add this wouldn't be as much a fault with me, if the story hadn't been so bland. Now, just to play the Devil's Advocate and completely contradict myself. In my opinion, I don't think this game should be penalized for the copying of other games. It is sold as a game that takes you through the progression of RPGs and is "Inspired by many cult series that have left their mark in the RPG video gaming culture". So yes, the game does steal aspects from games and yes, at some points it is a little cringe worthy but that is the game's gimmick, to criticize the gimmick of the game is to pretty much take away the whole point of it, which is slightly unfair.

The graphics however, are perfect. That is not to say they are ultra realistic or even rendered particularly well at some points, but it is perfect for the game. It truly is a true representation of various games and the put it together seamlessly. From the pixelly distorted black and green to the Wind Waker-esque cell shaded style, it works. The fact that the graphics actually manage to work itself into the game mechanics itself and finds itself actually as part of the puzzle solving is delicious. I really cannot fault it.

The soundtrack isn't exactly the same, it is good, very good in fact. It actually works quite well regarding where you are in the story, as the soundtrack has obviously been tweaked and scrutinized so that it doesn't suddenly burst into a happy, harmonic melody, when you are trudging through sewers or a murky dungeon. The music itself is actually really well put together, it isn't done in someone's back room and it shows. Of course there isn't any voices, following the classic tradition of the main character being a mute and everyone else talking in text alone. I feel kind of disgusted for saying this, but they could have really tried to break the mould and actually place some voice files in there, it would have been nice to hear some mutterings of the main character, or even just some more sound effects, to round out the personality of the game.

I think I pretty much summed up the game when I called the game's story "weak". I can't really describe the story any other way. This game could've been a tragic disappointment, if I had been expected some game to rival the likes of Final Fantasy or Zelda, luckily I wasn't. The game is only 3 hours long give or take and at the end of the game I didn't really feel satisfied, I also didn't feel unhappy, which in the great scheme of things would have been more of a downer. The game itself is maybe worth a couple of pounds, it's not groundbreaking and its not much more than a good idea wrapped in pretty presentation but you have to remember, some games can't even get that right and still get praised religiously.
The bottom line of it is, if you're feeling a little nostalgic, then definitely give it a little run but this is not the greatest game in the world, this is only a tribute.